Chief Craig unveils plan to clean up Detroit party stores - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Chief Craig unveils plan to clean up Detroit party stores, gas stations

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DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

Detroit Police Chief James Craig unveiled a "model business" plan this week, in efforts with party store and gas station owners, to make these businesses a cleaner and safer stop for customers in Detroit.

Those business owners have their fair share of complaints, too. More than 100 gas station and party store owners attended Craig's meeting Monday night and voiced their opinions. They say they call and call police, but officers never come. Frank Dabaja owns four gas stations in Detroit and says, over the last 28 years, he's watched crime go up and police presence go down.

"This is not a gas station issue. This is a Detroit issue," Dabaja tells Fox 2's Taryn Asher.

But the chief's plan works to change that. Craig says he expects to see trash cleaned up and loiterers, who seem to attract crime and deter customers, cleared off the property. Craig ensures officers will follow up with the stores and issue tickets when necessary.

"We don't want to ticket anyone. It's not about ticketing. It's about making a safe environment for anyone. Not only citizens here, but citizens coming up from the suburb area. No one should have to go to a gas station and feel uncomfortable," DPD community liaison officer Dwight Featherstone says.

Dabaja is willing to work with any official but, like the chief has made very clear, Dabaja says it's a two way street. Craig says he's simply asking these business owners to meet him half way to clean up the streets of Detroit. Craig adds he will provide extra patrols to high crime areas.

 "This chief is serious. He is not playing. We have to get out there and do our job, but we can't do this job alone. We need help from the citizens, the gas station owners - we all have to come together as one," Featherstone says.

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